Distributes 13.5 million palm nuts to participating estates

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, on Wednesday, signed a memorandum of understanding with small scale farmers’ associations in 2012 oil palm plantation.

Akinwumi Adesina, the Minister of Agriculture, at the signing ceremony in Abuja, said that this was to ensure increase in Nigeria?s oil palm production.

Adesina, who stated that the ministry distributed 13.5 million oil palm nuts to the participating estates, noted that oil palm is one of crop commodities under the agricultural transformation agenda to diversify the nation?s economy from crude oil.

“There has been a decline in the production of oil in Nigeria over the years; and for us in this government, this situation is certainly not acceptable. That is why Mr President launched the agricultural transformation agenda,” he said.

“Its focus is to diversify the economy away from crude oil; to reduce our dependency on crude oil; and at the same time to increase our export commodities that we have advantage in.”

He added that the goal of the agreement is to support the production of a total of 240000 hectares of oil palm in the next three years by small local farmers and estates.

“We want to improve the productivity of farmers through improved facility management practices and do a gradual replacement of old and less productive oil palm plantations,? he stated.

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